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RCAC announces Board of Regents applicants

Out of the 29 applicants, some notable names include former regent Michael Hsu, law professor Richard Painter and USG president Flora Yang. Regents Steve Sviggum and Darrin Rosha did not reapply for their seats.
Image by Liam Armstrong
The Board of Regents convene for their September meeting at the McNamara Alumni Center on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.

The Regent Candidate Advisory Council (RCAC) announced Wednesday the list of applicants for the 2023 University Board of Regent elections. The RCAC will meet Friday to begin discussions.

The deadline to apply was Tuesday and 29 people applied.

The board is made up of 12 members, eight of whom represent Minnesota’s eight Congressional Districts and four who fill at-large seats, who are elected by the state Legislature. Each regent serves a six-year term with four seats up for re-election every two years. Congressional districts 2, 3 and 8 as well as one at-large seat are up for re-election in the spring.

The RCAC will make recommendations to the regent nomination joint committee by Jan. 15, 2023. The joint committee will then make recommendations to a joint convention of the House and Senate. In previous years, new regents have generally been announced in March.

Regent and former vice chair of the board Steve Sviggum represents District 2 and did not re-apply for the position following community criticism over his comments at an October board meeting questioning diversity at the Morris campus.

Regent Darrin Rosha, who is known for asking questions and voting against the majority in split votes, represents District 3 and did not re-apply for the position.

Regent Tadd Johnson represents District 8 and applied for the position. Gov. Tim Walz appointed Johnson in July as a special selection to replace former regent David McMillan, who resigned in June to apply for the interim chancellor position on the Duluth campus. Johnson is the first Native American regent. Susan Cohen is the only other applicant for District 8.

Regent and board Chair Ken Powell’s at-large seat is up for re-election this spring. Powell was elected in 2017 and is a former CEO of General Mills. Powell came into controversy after language in President Joan Gabel’s December 2021 contract gave him more increased decision-making power.

Some notable names out of the 29 applicants include Richard Painter, Michael Hsu and Flora Yang.

Richard Painter is a current professor at the University’s law school. He was also vocal about his criticism of Gabel and the board over the summer when McMillan became Duluth’s interim chancellor. Painter also ran in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District special election DFL primary in May but lost to Jeff Ettinger.

Michael Hsu is a former regent who lost re-election in 2021. Hsu has stated he believes part of the reason he was not re-elected is because of lobbying efforts by the Maroon and Gold Political Action Committee.

Flora Yang is a senior at the University and is the current Undergraduate Student Government president.

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  • Mary P
    Dec 10, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    Michael Hsu? The same guy who slandered and defamed the U of Mn faculty and grad student researchers who produced the Coleman Report? The same guy who is on public record standing by racist, homophobic and anti semitic administrators? That guy wants to be regent again?